What if you found yourself in court, suing a big company, and you learned that seven of the 12 of the jurors worked for the same company that your were suing? Would that make you wonder if the verdict might be rigged?
How about the crooked politician who is facing charges of violating the State Government Ethics Act? Do you think he might be more likely to get away with it if a majority of the commission looking at his case were bigwig donors back when he was a backroom party boss?
Or imagine it’s election time — and at the last minute, thousands of ballots appear from nowhere. Hundreds of them, all for the same candidate, seem sketchy: felons voting, non-citizens voting, double voting, and other irregularities. It’s a highly-charged race and the margins are tight — the final outcome could come down to just a handful of votes. Wouldn’t you have more confidence in the integrity of the election process if the group of folks in charge of certifying the ballots were bipartisan?
Thanks to a new law, Senate Bill 68, North Carolina voters will now benefit from balanced, bipartisan oversight of campaign finance, lobbying, and ethics investigations.
These long-needed reforms to our democratic process combine the functions of the old partisan State Board of Elections and the State Ethics Commission into the new “Bipartisan State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement.” The board will consist of eight people, all appointed by the Governor from lists of nominees submitted by both state party chairs. Additionally, all of North Carolina’s 100 county boards of elections will now enjoy co-equal bipartisan representation — and not be unfairly dominated by just one political party.
Governor Cooper vetoed the measure last week, saying in a statement that it was “an attempt to make it harder for people to register and vote.”
In response, the legislature voted to override his veto — the Senate last night and the House earlier today.